The Joy of Eating

So the main point of cycle touring isn’t necessarily the gorgeous countryside that you stumble across, nor the great and helpful people that you encounter, the chirping of the birds, the croaking of the frogs or the beneficial health side effects (that mountain bike climb doesn’t seem to tax the lungs quite as much now)…….I jest of course, it is about the above. But what else it most definitely about is the food, the wine, the coffee and how much of each you can consume with the reassuring knowledge that it is vital fuel for the next day ahead. It doesn’t hurt that French food is pretty much universally delicious, and good for you. I had one night where I felt a bit dodgy. Woke up at 2am to growls, pops and whistles from my abdominal region. Oh ohh. As it turned out not too heinous a night, survivable anyway. The meal had tasted amazing so it was almost worth it.

The all important café crème

The all important café crème

Lunch in Roquebrun

Our only caveats were that we had no intention of eating frogs, snails or fois gras. And that was before we saw this…..

But we did eat to what amounted to be nearly raw eggs, happily……

A ‘cyclists lunch’. Unbelievably good.

We had picnic lunches quite often, and splurged on evening meals. But sometimes it was the other way around. Picking up wine at supermarkets is fantastically cheap, a few euros for a good bottle of wine. In the second photo below we were staying just outside of Carpentras. We’d gone into town looking for a restaurant to eat at, but they were all closed. Either it was a Sunday or a Monday or a Wednesday or a holiday, it got a bit confusing sometimes. But luckily as we rode into town, we noticed an open patisserie. Just in case we grabbed a few essentials, strawberry tarts, mini quiches. They quickly became our meal in the garden during a sweltering heatwave…

 

Breakfasts were always something to look forward to, but I think the best we had by quite a long shot was at the b&b we stayed at in Vaison-la-Romaine. Incredible coffee, fruit, cherry clafoutis cake again (it was cherry season and this was a staple at the time) and cheeses that we were proudly told had come from an award winning shop, stocked with over a hundred different types of cheese. Our host mentioned over 350 cheeses, but I can’t find anywhere stating that, one website mentioned 160. It’s a lot either way. I’m pretty sure the fromagerie is Lou Canesteou. The owner, Josiane Deal, was awarded the ‘Meilleur Ouvrier de France’ by President Jacques Chirac in 2004. The MOF as it’s known is a prestigious award intended to recognize the best craftspeople in France in all trades.

Didn’t actually have one of these from the shop below, but they did look delicious!

Sweet style, Vaison-la-Romaine

 

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